Nahal Ben Yair

Judean Desert


Ben Yair 0.0 Main.JPG

Rappelling R4 (the 2nd pitch of the main wall)



The route quality:   **/***   



The route type:


Rappelling trip.

The canyon is dry all the year round but be wary about floods during winter rains.

The rappelling stations are equipped with self-made spits. *  

You must have your own equipment to reinforce existing stations, bring maillons and ropes to connect between spits.


Getting there:


It is possible to get to the route either from up - from Arad via road 3199, or from down - via road 90. This description refers to the second option which looks most logical and convenient.
Drive on the road number 90 along Dead Sea to Masada junction, turn to Masada National Park and park at a big parking lot just before the main entrance barrier.

From the parking lot walk as for the famous "Snake Path" which climbs up to Masada. After 500m a trail marked with red marks branches to the right. Follow this red trail as it runs north skirting the Masada mountain. After 1300m a trail marked with green marks branches to the left. Leave the red trail and follow green marks that lead up to the main plateau and to the upper Masada parking (end of the road 3199, coming from Arad). The climb involves 260m of height gain. Follow the paved road 3199 for 800m to the point where a trail marked with blue marks branches to the right. Follow the blue trail for 1km to the point where it crosses a distinct wadi. It is the entrance point into nahal Ben Yair. 

Provide about 2 hours for the approach (5.5km and 390m of height gain).



Google - Ben Yair1.jpg









Ben Yair 0.1 approach.JPG

Great view from the "green trail"







Leave the marked trail and follow the canyon for 150m till the first small (7-8m) rocky drop which can be bypassed on the right side easily:



Ben Yair 0.2a bypass.JPG

Bypassing the rocky drop


Ben Yair 0.2b bypass.JPG

Bypassing the rocky drop


Ben Yair 0.2c bypass.JPG

A view back




Walk another 100m to the first rappelling spot.


Route description:



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There are 4 walls in the canyon involving 5 rappels:


R1.  9m (vertical)

Anchor: one self-made spit on the right side. *
By the way, the dry fall seems to be climbable down, but why you should do it in the presence of a spit...



Ben Yair 1st fall 1.JPG

The 1st rappelling station


Ben Yair 1st fall 2.JPG

The 1st dry fall


Ben Yair 1st fall 3.JPG

Checking whether it is climbable...




The second dry fall is found just at the foot of the first one.


R2.  24m (mostly vertical with 2-3m overhang in the last part)

Anchors: 3 self-made spits in the wall on the right side. *



Ben Yair 2nd fall 1.JPG

The 2nd rappelling station


Ben Yair 2nd fall 2.JPG

The 2nd rappelling station







Ben Yair 2nd fall 3.JPG

Rappelling down from the 2nd dry fall








It seems possible to escape the canyon after the second rappelling (ascending slopes on the right side), but we didn’t check this option.

Walk 250-300m down the canyon to the head of the main wall which is 72m high. It should be divided into 2 pitches: 47m and 25m because of a huge prickly three growing on the ledge on which you land on after 47m of rappelling. It looks impossible to pull the rope through such an obstacle.



Ben Yair 3rd fall 1 overview.JPG

The main wall, divided into 2 pitches (R3, R4) and the approach to R5








R3.  47m (vertical, then 25m overhang)

Anchors: 3 self-made spits in the flat floor of the canyon on the left side.

It is highly advisable to bring your maillon to the edge as close as possible (not as we did, as you can see on the picture below…). It’s really important because of the significant friction which develops while you pull the rope standing on the ledge below.

Be careful while rappelling (especially with your friends staying on the ledge below) because of some loose rocks on the wall!



Ben Yair 3rd fall 2.JPG

The 3rd rappelling station


Ben Yair 3rd fall 3.JPG

The 3rd rappelling station


Ben Yair 3rd fall 4.JPG

Rappelling the 1st pitch of the wall




R4.  25m (vertical)

Station: a rope loop on the tree. *


Ben Yair 4th fall 1.JPG

The 4th rappelling station


Ben Yair 4th fall 2.JPG

Rappelling the 2nd pitch


Ben Yair 5th fall 6.JPG

Rappelling the 2nd pitch of the wall





The 5th (and last…) dry fall is located about 30 meters from the foot of the 4th one. The approach involves descent through the blocks on the right side - to an intermediate ledge. There is a spit here and a long rope (10-12m) with a myllon at the end was fixed to it. Thus, the beginning of the descent was taken far down - to a convenient ledge at the very edge of the cliff. In between there are additional points (spits and natural features about 5-6m from the edge) are used to reinforce the station.


R5.  55m (alternately vertical and overhanging sections without getting far from the wall)

Anchors: multiple spits and options for natural anchoring. *


Ben Yair 5th fall 1.JPG

The 5th rappelling station


Ben Yair 5th fall 2.JPG

The 5th rappelling station


Ben Yair 5th fall 3.JPG

The 5th rappelling station





Ben Yair 5th fall 4.JPG

Rappelling the 5th dry fall


Ben Yair 5th fall 5.JPG

Rappelling the 5th dry fall






From the foot of the last dry fall you have some happy bouldering experience for about 150m and then an easy 1km walk brings you the “red” trail. 

Follow the trail to the Masada parking lot (2.9km).


Ben Yair 5th fall 6 exit.JPG

A view back on the dry falls of nahal Ben Yair


Ben Yair 5th fall 7 exit.JPG

Approaching Masada on the way back









The route quality:


*****  - The only one of its kind. A "must do" trip!

****    - Very interesting, highly recommended!

***      - Pretty nice route.

**        - Inexpressive one.

*          - Do it if you have nothing to do...



* Pay attention! The information is updated for November 2017. Try to check it before starting on your trip.